For charities just starting out, we can advise on which legal structure is the right fit for the organisation, whether as a charitable trust, company limited by guarantee (CLG), or charitable incorporated organisation (CIO). We can then provide support in registering the charity with the Charity Commission.
INCORPORATION AND ROYAL CHARTERS
We help unincorporated charities convert to CLGs or CIOs, facilitating thorough due diligence to ensure the secure and comprehensive transfer of the charity’s operations to the newly incorporated charity. We are also experienced in seeking Royal Chartered status for existing charities and all related dealings with the Privy Council.
We advise trustees who wish to review their charities’ constitutions to ensure that they remain fit for the charities’ purposes, reflective of best practice, and up-to-date with legislation. We can also help draw up practical governance policies and/or manuals for the more efficient management of trustees’ business.
REGULATION AND COMPLIANCE
We help trustees to manage their charities’ relationships with the Charity Commission, with a view to achieving their desired outcomes in a cost-effective manner. We are equally used to liaising with other relevant regulators, for example, Companies House, the Care Quality Commission, the Privy Council, the ICO, the Fundraising Regulator etc.
FUNDRAISING AND COMMERCIAL ADVICE
We provide practical day-to-day commercial advice to charities including in relation to arrangements with volunteers, legacies, grant-making, the establishment of trading subsidiaries, tax planning and Gift Aid, collaborative working and mergers, fundraising (including with professional fundraisers and commercial participators), brand protection, sponsorship, intellectual property licensing and data protection.
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE AND NON-PROFIT
Our advice extends to charities that are exempt or excepted from registration with the Charity Commission, as well as not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises, including community interest companies (CIC), community amateur sports clubs (CASC) and mutual/registered societies (i.e. industrial and provident societies/community and benefit societies).
OTHER RELATED ISSUES
Our cross-disciplinary practice means that lawyers from all specialisms across the firm are well-versed in advising charities. In particular, we regularly advise charities on matters connected to property management (including charity shops and retail), employment, compliance with safeguarding and health & safety regulation, pensions, and investment and financing.
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